They couldn’t just let it die. They couldn’t let the corpse gently, slowly rot under the summer sun. They couldn’t let its soul find some kind of fitful peace.
They had to make the goddamn Lost Epilogue.
We must start with this thesis: if the creative powers behind Lost thought that there was content essential to the main narrative of the show, they would have included said content in the actual show. If there were answers, resolutions to mysteries, that they thought were necessary to understand the series as a whole, they would have shown up in Season Six. Particularly because there was so much wasted time in the last season, what with Dogen’s magic baseball, and Purgatory Kate running from the law, and all the rest of the filler. There was certainly time and space to include important stuff if Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse wanted to do so.
So there are two ways to read the existence of this epilogue:
1) A pure money-grab, created and thrown on the series DVDs to induce hardcore fans to dole out some cash.
2) Toward the end of the final season, Cuse and Lindelof were reading some Lost message boards and fan sites, and started to realize the depth of the fan discontent over the mysteries they’d left unresolved. They looked at each other with an “Oh, shit!” eyebrow lift.
The truth is probably a combination thereof.
So we’re left with this: a poorly executed, tacked-on mini-episode that awkwardly addresses as many unanswered questions as possible in 12 minutes.
Let me say this right out front: Michael Emerson as Ben remains awesome, and it’s a pleasure to watch him in character. Yes, he should replace Steve Carell on The Office, yes, he should take over as Batman for Christian Bale, yes, he should replace Obama on the Democratic ticket in 2012. But even he can’t salvage this slap in the face to Lost fans everywhere.
The epilogue plays like an angry Comic-Con confrontation between bitter Lost fans and Cuse/Lindelof.
Rabid, Lathered-Up Lost Fans: YOU NEVER ANSWERED WHY THE DHARMA FOOD DROPS KEPT HAPPENING, YOU FUCKING NO-GOOD FUCKS!
Epilogue: It was all a misunderstanding! Just poor communication!
RLULF: HOW COULD YOU LEAVE US HANGING ON THE GODDAMN HURLEYBIRD?!
Epliogue: Hybrids! Dharma experiments, and what not!
RLULF: BABIES! WHY COULDN’T THEY HAVE BABIES ON THE MOTHERFLIPPING ISLAND?
Epilogue: Good sirs, haven’t you figured out by now that everything you’ve seen can be explained by either Dharma experiments or electromagnetism?
RLULF: YOU ALREADY GAVE US AN UNSATISFACTORY EXPLANATION FOR THE BRAINWASHING ROOM! ELABORATE!
Epilogue: It was where Dharma brainwashed The Others, of course!
Epilogue: He’s still special! We didn’t forget about him!
RLULF: WHY DID MARVIN CANDLE HAVE DIFFERENT NAMES, FOR THE LOVE OF THE CREATOR?
Epilogue: Well, his real name was….you know what? Fuck it, here, enjoy these jokes about Betamax.
Look, I wish Lost had given us some more answers in its endgame. Of course I do. But they chose not to, and they managed to give us a pretty brilliant finale anyway. And that’s where it should have died. These shoehorned explanations feel false and spoon-fed, and it’s clear that Cuselof are trying to placate all those people who were left unsatisfied with the show itself.
But that battle’s already been lost. Those people were unsatisfied with Lost. A couple bonus scenes won’t repair that broken relationship. All it can do is remind those of us who liked the finale that there were a shitload of unanswered questions, and that the show was never really all that good at answering questions in the first place.